Welcome to the April 30 Monday Business Briefing, your business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

A $26 million hotel plan near the Louisville Water Tower is renewed

This map shows where Barrister Commercial Group plans to build the hotel. | Courtesy of Google

Almost a decade after the original plan for a hotel near River Road and Zorn Avenue was approved, work is moving forward to make it a reality.

The hotel, which doesn’t currently have a flag, got the thumbs up from the city planning officials in 2009, but a lawsuit was filed to keep the development from happening, said Mike Brown, director of business development at the local development company Barrister Commercial Group.

The lawsuit was settled in 2015, allowing Barrister Commercial Group to renew its efforts to build the hotel at 1033 Zorn Ave. close to Interstate 71 and the Louisville Water Tower.

Brown told Insider Louisville that the specs for the hotel remain the same as they were in 2009. The hotel will have 143 rooms and sit atop a two-level parking garage in order to lift it above the 1937 Flood line. The first floor of the hotel also will include a restaurant and lounge; Brown said the company hasn’t decided it will find an operator for the restaurant and lounge or work with a hotel company to bring in one of their concepts.

Barrister Commercial Group last week received approval for $400,000 in state tax incentive for the $26 million project from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.

What remains now, Brown said, is to pull building permits and sign an agreement with a hotel company. Work is expected to begin before the end of the year and take about 12 months to complete.

He added that there is clearly a demand for more hotel rooms in Louisville, particularly with the more than $200 million renovations of the Kentucky International Convention Center, and that Barrister Commercial Group hopes the hotel will help further former Mayor Jerry Abramson’s vision that Louisville Champions Park be a hub for sports-related economic activity.

“We think the hotel will be a nice catalyst that will help the vision of Champions Park,” Brown said. “Nothing has really happened at that corner of Zorn Avenue and River Road for decades.” —Caitlin Bowling

Fourth Street Derby pop-up shops; Macy’s hosting James Beard chefs

Chefs Michelle Bernstein and Anthony Lamas | Courtesy of Macy’s

Get ready for a week of quasi-working and more than your fill of fun activities.

In honor of Derby week, the Louisville Downtown Partnership and Made Market are hosting The Derby Made Market Handmade Pop-Up Shop throughout this week on South Fourth Street.

In addition to existing retailers Craft(s) Gallery & Mercantile, Regalo, Block Party Handmade Boutique, The Mysterious Rack, Avenue E, Cellar Door Chocolates and Art Eatables, shoppers can visit Fashion Impact Boutique by Handbags U Like, which is temporarily locating at 554 S. Fourth St., and buy items from Made Market Handmade Pop-Up Shop’s dozen vendors who are locating temporarily in the Chestnut Centre at Chestnut and South Fourth streets.

Monnik Brewery and Quills Coffee will be serving drinks at the Chestnut Centre as well.

“We wanted to activate underutilized commercial spaces in the downtown, particularly during the busy Derby season,” said Rebecca Matheny, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership.

While the pop-up shop will continue throughout the week, local chef Anthony Lamas and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein will be at the Macy’s in Oxmoor Center for one night only.

Bernstein and Lamas are hosting a cooking demonstration, offering helpful tips for home cooks and signing copies of their cookbooks at 6 p.m. on May 2 in Macy’s third-floor home department. The event is first come, first served.

Bernstein currently hosts “Check, Please!,” a weekly PBS series. She also previously co-hosted Melting Pot on the Food Network and was a guest judge on “Top Chef.” Lamas own the highly rated Seviche, A Latin Restaurant, in Louisville and was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southeast award three years in a row. —Caitlin Bowling

Tim Faulkner Gallery to move from Portland to Paristown Point

Tim Faulkner Gallery co-owner Margaret Archambault confirmed the news that the Portland gallery will be moving to an undisclosed location in Paristown Point, near Smoketown and Germantown, this summer.

She says that she and co-owner Tim Faulkner wanted to downsize a bit and focus more on art.

The gallery, which celebrated 10 years in December, has been located in a Portland warehouse since 2014, and before that it was on East Market Street and in Butchertown. The new space will be considerably smaller, and for a reason.

“The biggest thing we’ve learned is that bigger isn’t always better,” says Archambault. “Your time as an individual is the most valuable thing you have, and if whatever it is you are doing takes time away from what you actually want to do, then it’s time to change.”

The new space will have eight artist studios and will function as a working gallery, “but we will have white walls for the first time in our history,” she says. There also will be a bar, but not as large as what was in the Portland space, and there will not be an indoor stage.

The address will be revealed later this summer, Archambault says, once they have an exact opening date. —Sara Havens

Engineering firms merge, another expands into Louisville

Greg Buccola leads KPFF’s local office. | File Photo

Louisville firm Slesser Engineering is merging into national engineering firm KPFF effective May 1.

Slesser Engineering’s six employees, including founder Carl Slesser, will now work out of KPFF’s downtown Louisville office, KPFF announced. KPFF moved into the Louisville market in January 2017.

“Their culture, values and great work product is synonymous with KPFF, and it has been a delight working with Carl to help make this transition happen,” the firm stated.

A third engineering firm also recently moved into the Louisville market. Midwest-based engineering consultancy Clark Dietz has opened an office at 2302 Hurstbourne Village Drive, its 10th location in the United States.

“A prospering and vibrant Louisville with aging infrastructure needs another highly qualified and experienced firm to help various agencies tackle these challenges efficiently,” said area manager Vinay K. Polepalli in a news release.

Clark Dietz also has offices in New Albany and Evansville, Ind. —Caitlin Bowling

Pediatrics chairman exiting UofL post

Charles Woods

The chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics is leaving to take a job in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Dr. Charles Woods has been named chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga and chief medical officer of the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

A news release from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga and the Erlanger Health System indicates that Woods will start his new job this summer. The University of Louisville has not announced his replacement.

Woods became chair of UofL pediatrics and chief of the medical staff at Norton Children’s Hospital in September 2017, according to UofL. He arrived at UofL in 2006 as a professor of pediatrics, specializing in infectious diseases. —Darla Carter

Women 4 Women grants to benefit women and girls


Women 4 Women has announced the winners of $100,000 in grants to nonprofits serving women and girls in the Louisville area.

After spending the last several months reviewing applications, Women 4 Women awarded grants to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Coalition for the Homeless, Dress for Success Louisville, Maryhurst, Shively Area Ministries, Spina Bifida and YouthBuild.

The winning organizations are those whose missions most closely align with that of Women for Women, Executive Director Misty Cruse said in a news release.

“Since the initial vision of Cissy Musselman 25 years ago, the mission of Women 4 Women has been to elevate the economic self-sufficiency of women and girls in this community,” Cruse said.

Maryhurst, a child-welfare nonprofit that serves kids and families who are hurting, is grateful to be chosen by Women 4 Women, said Christine Sedita, vice president of residential programs at Maryhurst.

“Women 4 Women has been a generous supporter of Maryhurst’s work to end the cycle of abuse in Kentucky, and their grant this year will power our Transitional Living team that acts as a support system for survivors of trauma as they begin navigating young adulthood,” Sedita said in an email. “Because of these funds, we’ll be able to help more youth find and keep a job, rent their first apartment, and secure resources for higher education.”

Applications for next year’s Women 4 Women grants will be available in December. —Darla Carter

Poll: Most Kentucky adults see addiction as a disease

A newly released poll has found that 70 percent of Kentucky adults consider addiction to be a disease.

The finding from the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll is significant because Kentucky has been hard hit by drug abuse, including the national opioid epidemic, said Ben Chandler, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“Treating addiction as a disease, and then working together to magnify the treatment programs that are working, is the only way we are going to move from our substance use crisis to long-term recovery — both for individuals and for the Commonwealth,” Chandler said in a news release.

The poll, which is funded by the foundation and Cincinnati-based Interact for Health, found that 72 percent of adults in the Louisville area consider addiction a disease, compared to 62 percent in eastern Kentucky. —Darla Carter

In Brief

Richard Johnson is now vice president and chief creative officer for PriceWeber; he’s worked for the full-service digital advertising agency in various roles since 1992.

Dr. Kyle Brothers has been promoted to Endowed Chair in Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research in the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics. Brothers, a researcher who examines the intersection of ethics and policy decisions with human genetics, practices at UofL Pediatrics — Downtown and is on staff at Norton Children’s Hospital.